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Introduction On 17th July 2019 the EU Commission opened a formal antitrust investigation into Amazon and whether Amazon is using sensitive data it obtains from independent retailers which sell on Amazon Marketplace in breach of the EU competition rules. This formal probe had been widely expected for some time as the EU Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, had already signalled in September last year that the EU Commission was looking into Amazon’s conduct with a view to deciding whether to launch –Read More–

Introduction For a second time in 18 months the EU Commission has slapped a large antitrust fine on Qualcomm, the world’s largest chip manufacturer . On 18 July 2019, the European Commission announced that it has imposed a fine of EUR 242 million on Qualcomm for abusing its dominant position in  3G baseband chipsets contrary to Article 102 TFEU .  Qualcomm sold these chipsets below cost, with the aim of forcing its competitor, Icera, out of the market. It appears –Read More–

Introduction Following recent proposals for regulatory reform (see articles here and here) in relation to competition in digital markets, the CMA published its new Digital Markets Strategy on 3 July 2019, which sets out the agency’s approach to “protecting consumers in the digital economy while ensuring robust, competitive digital markets”. The strategy outlines five strategic aims and seven priority focus areas across antitrust law and merger control, as well as consumer law. Objectives The first strategic aim is for the –Read More–

Hot on the heels of the announcement of a record antitrust fine imposed by the European antitrust regulator upon another US technology company , the European Commission announced on 19th July 2018 that it had sent a Supplementary Statement of Objections to Qualcomm. This is in connection with its predatory pricing investigation against the US technology company which is also the world’s largest supplier of smartphone chipsets This move by the Commission reinforces the Commission’s policy of taking on high –Read More–

On 12th July 2018 Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)  announced it was extending its timetable in relation to a number of its ongoing investigations involving anti-competitive practices in the pharmaceutical sector. The delay is likely to be due to the recent adverse ruling before the Competition Appeal Tribunal in the Pfizer/Flynn cases. The CAT ruled that the CMA had adopted the wrong legal test for ascertaining whether the abuse of excessive and/or unfair pricing under Article 102 TFEU or Chapter –Read More–

On 28 June 2018, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it has applied to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) for permission to appeal against the CAT’s judgment on appeals by Pfizer and Flynn against the CMA decision fining them for abusing their dominant positions by charging unfair and excessive prices for phenytoin sodium capsules. On 7 June 2018, the CAT handed down a judgment in which it concluded the CMA’s conclusions on abuse of dominance were in –Read More–

On 7 June 2017, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) set aside parts of the Competition & Market Authority’s (“CMA”) decision in relation to the CMA’s finding that Pfizer and Flynn charged excessive and unfair prices for phenytoin sodium capsules and referred the matter back to the CMA for reconsideration. In doing so, the CAT also quashed the CMA’s record fines of nearly £90 million which it had imposed on Pfizer and Flynn. In December 2016, the CMA issued an infringement –Read More–

On 4 December 2017, the Bundeskartellamt (German Federal Cartel Office — FCO) announced it had banned CTS Eventim from having exclusive agreements with its promoter and box office partners. Based in Munich, CTS Eventim is the operator of the largest ticketing system in Germany and holds a dominant position in the relevant market. The company provides ticketing services for event organisers and advance booking offices, organises music tours and festivals, and is particularly known for its ticket online shop “”. –Read More–

We reported in January 2017 on how a Portuguese Court has asked the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) to provide guidance on when “discriminatory pricing applied to equivalent transactions” amounts to an abuse of a dominant positon under Article 102 (c) Treaty for the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”). Article 102(c) is often invoked when a dominant company supplies an input or raw material at different prices to competing customers. These competitors then process it into –Read More–

Introduction On 19 December 2017, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO), issued a press release alleging that Facebook had abused its dominant position on the market for social networks in Germany. It specifically alleges that it forces users to sign up on a ‘take it or leave it’ basis to Facebook’s use and collection of their data. Facebook then uses this broad consent to monitor users’ non-Facebook data and merge those details with the users Facebook/Instagram/Whatsapp data for use in –Read More–

A resounding judicial victory was scored in Italy this fall by Bryan Cave’s affiliated office (“SILS”) on behalf of the Volkswagen Group. The Supreme Court of Italy (“Corte di Cassazione”) rejected all claims brought against VW by a local car dealer (B Automobili) in a long-running, complex case involving an alleged “abuse of a dominant position” by VW. The plaintiff alleged the violation of Italian antitrust rules (specifically Section 3 of Law No. 287 of 1990) on the basis of –Read More–

This case, being already the third since the new CAT Rules came into force on the 1 October 2015, is evidence that the new fast track procedure has been successful in encouraging claims against anti-competitive behaviour and providing smaller businesses with cheaper and quicker opportunities for access to justice. On 12 April 2016, the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) listed a third case under its “fast-track” competition litigation procedure. As we previously reported, the procedure was designed to provide primarily small –Read More–

On the 2nd March 2016, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) initiated proceedings against Facebook’s European and German entities, accusing the company of abusing its market power. The case follows a logical progression of regulators seeking to regulate alleged abuses of dominance in new technologies as they impact upon consumers. The first such target was software, then search engines, and now social media websites. An abuse of dominance is a competition law offence under Article 102 of the TFEU. It –Read More–

On the 8th December 2015, Qualcomm, the world’s largest supplier of smartphone chipsets, was publicly accused by the European Commission of abusing its dominant position in the markets for 3G and 4G baseband chipsets. This move by the Commission is significant as it follows a well established formula of the EU Commission taking on high profile cases against major global technology firms and follows the opening of an investigation into Qualcomm in July this year. This has again sparked accusations –Read More–

On 20th July 2015, it was reported in the High Court how Telefonica, the owner of O2 and the UK telecoms giant, had been hit by an interim injunction by a small business (Packet Media Limited) who believed that Telefonica were abusing their position of dominance in the wholesale provision of access to call and SMS text origination. The case is important in showing the growth of competition litigation in the UK, and the protection it affords small businesses who –Read More–

On 6 August 2015, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it had sent a statement of objections to a major pharmaceutical producer and a large distributor, over their pricing of an anti-epilepsy drug. The case is significant as high or excessive prices are thought to be common in the pharmaceutical sector. The CMA have based their objections on a breach of Chapter II of the Competition Act 1998, that being the prohibition against an abuse of a dominant position. –Read More–

On the 16 July 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) handed down judgment in Huawei Technologies Co Ltd v ZTE Corp (Case C-170/13). The case concerns a standard-essential patent (SEP); a type of patent which the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) considers sufficiently important for the future growth and evolution of technology in a particular sector that it ought not be subject to the same rules and laws as regular intellectual property rights. The owner of –Read More–

On 21 April 2015, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) issued its decision on’s revised commitments regarding price parity clauses (decision n°15-D-06). The anti-competitive effects of price parity clauses – or most favored nation clauses – used by online travel agencies (“OTAs”) in their contracts with hoteliers have been under increasing scrutiny by both national courts and EU regulators over the past two years (see the first two articles of the February 2015 edition of the EU & Competition Law –Read More–

On 21 April 2015, the EU Commission announced that it had sent a statement of objections to Gazprom, the Russian gas supplier, over allegations of an abuse of dominance by the company in Eastern European markets. It is reported that the Commission were ready to send the statement to Gazprom last summer but delicate geopolitical considerations including the need to supply the Ukraine with gas over the coming winter meant the Commission took the view not to antagonise Moscow. This –Read More–

On the 21 April 2015 it was announced that had reached a settlement with the Italian, Swedish and French competition authorities. The actions were a co-ordinated approach with the European Commission to examine online hotel booking and the wide use of best price clauses by the hotel booking websites. We have reported on these developments several times over the last year including in this post. has reached this settlement as the dominant player in European online hotel booking. –Read More–